Arsenal Women set to sign Nikita Parris as Williamson extends stay

England's Nikita Parris sees her penalty saved during the FIFA Women's World Cup, Quarter Final, at

England's Nikita Parris sees her penalty saved during the FIFA Women's World Cup, Quarter Final, at Stade Oceane, Le Havre, France. - Credit: PA

Arsenal have agreed a deal with Lyon for Nikita Parris according to reports ahead of the 2021-22 season.

The English International has reportedly agreed personal terms with Arsenal and is already back in England to undergo a medical in the next few days.

Arsenal have already brought in Mana Iwabuchi this summer and this would boost Arsenal's attacking options with Vivianne Miedema already at the club. 

It was linked last month that Parris and Miedema could swap but this isn't the case with Arsenal wanting to buy Parris and link the pair together at Meadow Park. 

Parris scored 13 goals in 20 appearances this season for Lyon as they lost out on the Ligue 1 title on the final day to Paris Saint-Germain, who also knocked them out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

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Parris played for Manchester City in the WSL before her move to France so is experienced in the English top flight. 

Parris won one Women's Super League title, two FA Cups and two Continental League Cups in her three years in Manchester after arriving in 2016 from her youth club Everton. 

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In her final season at Manchester City, she went toe to toe in Golden Boot with Miedema, scoring 19 goals in 19 WSL appearances.

Arsenal have confirmed that Leah Williamson has signed a new contract at the club ahead of the 2021-22 season. 

Williamson aged 24 made her debut for the Gunners in 2014 and has been a regular in the side ever since. 

The defender has also become a full English International and was recently named in the PFA WSL team of the season for 2020-21. 

Williamson has helped the club win the 2019 Women's Super League, two Continental Tyres League Cups and two Women's FA Cups whilst making 165 appearances and finding the net ten times. 

Arsenal's Leah Williamson during the Vitality Women's FA Cup fourth round match against Gillingham at Meadow Park

Arsenal's Leah Williamson during the Vitality Women's FA Cup fourth round match against Gillingham at Meadow Park - Credit: PA

Williamson is a crucial part to how Arsenal play as she is versatile playing at centre-back or in midfield. 

On the new deal she told "I’ve signed because I’ve always said that this is my club.

"I say it’s a fairy tale that I’m still here, I have won trophies and we’ve continued to compete for trophies, that’s really important to me and I think that I owe the club as well for everything they’ve given to me, and it’s time for me to give back to them.

"I've got everything I want in my world, everything that is important to me because genuinely Arsenal is up there in the most important things in my life, of course it is.

"It's such a big part of my family and I've got all of those things all together, which just makes it, you know? It makes me happy, it always has done.

“I’ve never been shy in saying that my aim is to be the best centre back in the world.

"My coaches have always had that belief in me, players have always said to me that I can go as high as I wanted to and I need to start realising that now.

“That’s another thing about signing my new contract: can I do that here? I believe that for the foreseeable that yeah, that’s true and that as much as I push my own standards, playing around the best players and getting the right support from the coaching staff, hopefully if you mix those things together I can take it to the next level.

“Right now everyone knows me for my passing, my ball playing, that side of my game, and growing up at the Arsenal academy I’d expect nothing less of myself, now it’s time to maybe show what a leader and a defensive player I can be.

"That’s the next one or two per cent I need to tick off that box.”

Arsenal's number 6 went on to say she felt loved by the fans through the contract process as she explained: "I really, really have felt very appreciated in this whole process by the fans. 

"They definitely swayed me before you really sit down and have a think about your future.

I just felt very loved by them and I like that because that was once me, so again, I've been in their shoes and I am actually living the dream.

"So I hope they know I would never take a second for granted really and that what I do every day is because I know how grateful I am to be in the position that I am, you know?

“I see myself as the same as them in terms of my love for the club, so I suppose my message to the fans is that I promise that I will give it my everything and I hope that the impact I can have on the club as well is as big as the impact that the club has had on me. 

"I captained the team once last season, and I was crying at the end because it's emotional for me.

"I get embarrassed sometimes because I'm not sure in the women's game that there is that much love for clubs as there is in the men's, but that's how I feel about Arsenal.”

Clare Wheatley, head of women’s football, added: “It’s clear to everyone how much Leah loves the club and she embodies everything that we stand for on and off the pitch.

"We are delighted that she’s signed another contract with us, she believes in our ambitions and she’s obviously a very important part of the team and It’s a big boost for everyone – fans, team-mates and staff."

Arsenal have not disclosed the length of Williamson's new deal. 

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